Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

If you have leftover browned butter, make these soft and gooey brown butter cinnamon rolls. They are a perfect for bringing the family around the table for breakfast or brunch.

We promised you a new cinnamon roll recipe every month during this year. Are you ready? Because we are!

We SO LOVE seeing all of your homemade cinnamon rolls over on Instagram. It makes us so happy!

We asked a few months back what new flavors of rolls you would like to see and you gave us quite the list. We are so excited to share our ideas with you.

We were studying how to make brown butter last fall and knew that we wanted to incorporate this warm, cozy flavor into our new cinnamon rolls.

A close up of cinnamon roll

On the outside, these rolls look very similar to our famous cinnamon rolls (The Ones with the Heavy Cream).

We’ve made just a few crucial changes to this cinnamon roll recipe that we think you’ll love. Are they better than the original? Not necessarily. But they are different. And sometimes different is good.

Introducing: The Ones with Brown Butter.

This brown butter cinnamon rolls recipe is great to use if you happen to have a little browned butter leftover from another recipe. But it is also worth making a fresh batch of brown butter just for this recipe.

There is brown butter:

  • in the dough.
  • in the filling.
  • in the glaze.

If you don’t have enough brown butter for all 3, we recommend using regular butter for the dough and browned butter for the filling and the glaze.

What does brown butter taste like?

Browned butter is easy to make and it is great for adding just a little different flavor to both savory and sweet dishes.

Brown butter has a nutty flavor and a caramely aroma. It really is quite different than standard butter.

How do you make brown butter?

We have found 3 different methods on how you can make brown butter. We wrote a whole post all about brown butter….how to make it and how to know when it is perfectly browned. Make your butter over there then come back here to make the sweet rolls. Read: How to Make Browned Butter

brown butter in measuring cup

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

First things first when making brown butter cinnamon rolls. Make your browned butter in advance. It will be really hot right after you make it and you will need to let it cool before you start into making the yeast rolls.

We use a stand mixer with a dough hook to make the cinnamon roll dough. You can use a bread maker on the dough setting or you can also knead the dough by hand.

Make the dough.

  • Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop. We love Red Star Platinum Baking Yeast. It is forgiving and works beautifully in all yeast breads.
  • Add the eggs, browned butter, salt and sugar.
  • Add 4 cups of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined.
  • Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids. This also gives time for the gluten strands to start forming.
  • Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook.
  • Beat the dough on medium speed for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth.

**Note: The dough will be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl. That’s ok! If it really looks too wet, add up to ¼ more cup of flour as you knead the dough. Just add a small amount at a time. Don’t be tempted to add too much flour or it will make the rolls dry. The dough should be slightly sticky.

  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
  • Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
  • Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double. I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for about 1 or 1 ½ minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there. It normally takes about 30-60 minutes for the dough to rise but the time can vary based on weather and even altitude. Do not allow the dough to rise too much or your cinnamon rolls will be airy.
A close up of a bowl, with Dough

Make the filling.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted browned butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

You can use dark brown sugar if you’d like. It adds a deep molasses flavor to the sweet rolls.

Roll the dough.

  • Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour.
  • Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with a light dusting of additional flour.
ball of dough
  • Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24×15″ rectangle. (the size of the rectangle can vary…it does not have to be exact!)
  • Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle.
spreading cinnamon on dough
  • Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.
  • Cut into 15 slices.
cutting cinnamon rolls
  • Place in a greased 10×15″ baking pan. We use a large 10×15″ baking pan instead of a 9×13 pan. This allows for more even baking and rising. You can use a 9×13 pan but the rolls will not look as “perfect” after they are baked.

Let the rolls rise.

Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 30 minutes or until nearly double. This can take awhile depending on the weather and many other factors. Give the rolls time to rise, even if it takes an hour or so.

unbaked cinnamon rolls

The secret ingredients.

Now it’s time for the secret ingredient!

  • Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don’t make it hot…you just don’t want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
  • Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
unbaked cinnamon rolls with cream

Bake the rolls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. Check the rolls at about 15 minutes into baking. If they look like they are getting too browned, place a piece of foil over the top of the pan for the remainder of the time. 

**Note…the time will vary based on how big the rolls are, what type of pan, how close the rolls are packed, etc. To see if they are done, lightly pull up on the edge of the cinnamon roll in the center. If it looks cooked and not too doughy, it is done.**

A close up of unfrosted cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Roll Glaze

We normally like a cream cheese frosting on our cinnamon rolls. But for the brown butter rolls, we didn’t want the cream cheese to overpower the brown butter flavor, so we decided to top the rolls with a brown butter glaze.

  • In a small bowl, use a whisk to combine the powdered sugar, melted butter a pinch of salt and vanilla extract. Mix with a whisk. Add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is at the consistency you’d like.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls. You can pour or spread it over warmed rolls but the glaze will soak in more.
frosted cinnamon rolls

Can you make cinnamon rolls the night before?

Yes! We often make the cinnamon rolls and get them to the point of the second rise (when they are rolled out, cut up and put in the pan). Cover and refrigerate until morning.

The morning you want to bake them, pull them out of the refrigerate and allow them to rise. Plan about at least an hour for this so you aren’t waiting too long! Then let them do their second rise. Pour on the cream and let them bake.

Can you freeze cinnamon rolls?

Yes! You can freeze cinnamon rolls before their second rise (at the same time when you would pop them into the fridge), or you can bake the rolls and freeze them already baked. If you are freezing the rolls this way, I recommend waiting to put on the glaze because it will all soak in when you reheat the rolls.

A close up of cinnamon rolls

What You Need to Make Cinnamon Rolls

  • Stand Mixer: Ok, you don’t 100% need this, but it does make life easier. You can also use a bread machine on the dough setting.
  • Red Star Yeast: My favorite yeast! It’s so forgiving and I have perfect cinnamon rolls, every time.
  • Saigon Cinnamon: The best flavored cinnamon. You can get it at Costco or online.
  • Pastry Mat: This makes clean-up after rolling the dough a breeze.
  • Dough Cutter: To cut the rolls easily. Works as a scraper too, to get stuck-on dough off surfaces.
  • Baking Pan: We bake our rolls in a large 10×15 baking pan.

Try our cinnamon roll pancakes and cinnamon roll cake!

15 Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls
15 Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 8 votes
Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls have a deep, rich flavor in the dough, filling and the glaze. Our secret ingredient makes the rolls gooey and soft!
Servings 15

Ingredients
 

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk about 115 degrees F**
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast I like Red Star Platinum Baking Yeast
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup browned butter (very soft, almost melted)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus up to ¼ cup more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup browned butter (melted)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

For Topping the Unbaked Rolls:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (for pouring over the risen rolls)

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup browned butter (melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • **Be sure to plan ahead and make the browned butter in advance so it can be cooled slightly.**
  • Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop.
  • Add the eggs, browned butter, salt and sugar.
  • Add 4 cups of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids.
  • Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook.
  • Beat the dough on medium speed for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough will be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl. That's ok! If it really looks too wet, add up to ¼ more cup of flour as you knead the dough. Just add a small amount at a time. Don't be tempted to add too much flour or it will make the rolls dry. The dough should be slightly sticky.
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
  • Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
  • Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double. I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there. It normally takes about 30-60 minutes for the dough to rise but the time can vary based on weather and even altitude. Do not allow the dough to rise too much or your cinnamon rolls will be airy.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, combine the melted browned butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with a light dusting of additional flour.
  • Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24×15″ rectangle. (the size of the rectangle can vary…it does not have to be exact!)
  • Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle.
  • Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.
  • Cut into 15 slices and place in a greased 10×15" baking pan.*
  • Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 30 minutes or until nearly double.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don’t make it hot…you just don’t want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
  • Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. Check the roll after about 15 minutes of baking. If they look like they are getting too browned, place a piece of foil over the top of the pan for the remainder of the time. **Note…the time will vary based on how big the rolls are, what type of pan, how close the rolls are packed, etc. To see if they are done, lightly pull up on the edge of the cinnamon roll in the center. If it looks cooked and not too doughy, it is done.**
  • While the rolls are cooling, prepare the glaze.
  • In a small bowl, use a whisk to combine the powdered sugar, melted butter a pinch of salt and vanilla extract. Mix with a whisk. Add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is at the consistency you'd like.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls. You can pour or spread it over warmed rolls but the glaze will soak in more.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Notes

**Note…we use a large 10×15″ baking pan instead of a 9×13 pan. This allows for more even baking and rising. You can use a 9×13 pan but the rolls will not look as “perfect” after they are baked.
*The Calorie count shows the amount with ALL of the frosting used. There will be less calories in the rolls if you don’t use all of the frosting at once.
**Different yeast calls for slightly different proofing methods. We follow Red Star Platinum’s temperature guidelines. Please check your yeast packet to see what temperature the milk should be at.
*Time shown does not include time for rising, so this recipe will take longer than 49 minutes. Plan about 2-2 ½ hours with rising time and everything.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 15 rolls, with 1 serving being 1 frosted roll. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 642IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg
Calories 479
A close up of brown butter cinnamon rolls

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Suzanne McElligott
1 year ago

I like that you show us how much the dough has to rise often in recipe they write let it rise to double the size if your new at baking and you don t understand then you are stuck .

Donna
1 year ago

5 stars
Could the dough, mixing thru the first rise, be made in a breadmachine??